Sabaton and the rest of their Viking warriors slayed their way through San Francisco last night, by playing to a sold-out crowd at the Regency Ballroom. It was hot, sweaty, brutal, but most of all epic in its execution.
After enduring a long wait to get into the venue (the lines were around the block) fans were welcomed with a blistering performance by Leaves Eyes. Their performance was one for the ages and included some stunning operatic vocals by Elina Siirala and ferocious Viking growls from her co-star for the night, Alexander Krull. The dichotomy between the two vocal styles proved to be both angelic and brutal at the same time yet worked very well overlayed on the thunderous drums and vicious riffs that were emanating from the rest of the band.
After a 30 minute performance, which included a 20 person mosh pit, Battle Beast took to the stage. They were promoting their latest offering “Bringer of Pain,” and ended up playing a good chunk of the album. Their singer Noora Louhima was on point and has some of the best metal vocals out there. She’d definitely give Rob Halford a run for his money when it comes to hitting those higher register screeches. The rest of the band played flawlessly a genre that requires a level of instrument prowess that very few today possess.
Once the band finished their set, and the crowd had a chance to compose itself, the headliner’s set began to come together. After a few grenade boxes and toy machine guns taped to mic stands arrived on the stage, a thunderous rally of “Sabaton, SabATON, SABATON!” could be heard progressively getting louder and louder. At its crescendo, the Swedish war machine took to the stage and began what was to be over an 1 1/2 hours of high energy power metal. They cranked out fan favorites like “Blood of Bannockburn,” “Carolus Rex” and “Primo Victoria,” before closing out the evening that left the crowd tired and beat up, yet grateful for having come out victorious. What a bloody battle that was.